However after dusting off my old uno r3 which I've never got any further than blinking an led I was able to play with the various boards. Still not enjoying gertduino just don't seem to gel with it. However raspio duino apart from the lack of adding boards to it (please make one I can add boards/shields to) ;) I was able to make a colourful array http://youtu.be/5Vq9tOulb6M now I felt I was getting somewhere.
So next up was to get the uno working and found it was actually more simpile than it looks, however the LCD plate I got seemed not to work till I came across the coding by Simon monk in his arduino sketches book where he uses the same LCD keypad shield as me.
So changing the LiquidCrystal section to 8,9,4,5,6,7 and I was soon up and running, shame I just ordered another LCD shield but figuring they only a few quid from Hong Kong and China that it's no loss and have since ordered an Ethernet shield led shield and a few others to tinker with. If I can get an understanding this end then I might get further with the atmega m328p chips on the gettduino and even further on the raspioduino.